More therapeutic options means more patients can find the satisfaction they are seeking. Fewer patients are disappointed. We are able to help many patients conventional medicine alone was not able to help. However, all that glitters isn’t gold- and it is crucial to practice evidence-based integrative medicine, to separate gold from dross, and to make sure that all treatment decisions consider potential benefits and potential risks.
A Answers (5)
David L. Katz, MD,MPH, Integrative Medicine, answered
Jill Baron, MD, Family Medicine, answered
Having an holistic and integrative approach to a patient involves looking at the whole patient, mind, body, and spirit, as all aspects of a patient’s life can affect his/her health. Integrative Medicine ideally treats not only the patient’s symptoms, but also tries to get to the root of what is causing the problem. Another benefit of Integrative Medicine, is that Practitioners of Integrative Medicine tend to spend more time with getting to know and understand the patient, which helps them treat the patient more effectively.
Robin Miller, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredIntegrative medicine is the practice of medicine that takes a holistic approach. Many times when patients have different specialists for different problems, the whole picture may not be obvious. Integrative medicine can pull it all together and often help to diagnose and treat the whole person. Integrative medicine can benefit those who are well to keep them that way. It can help anyone with a medical condition by tailoring a specific medical regimen to their needs.
Susan Blum, MD, MPH, Preventive Medicine, answered
While the traditional medical system excels at treating acute illness, Integrative medicine is better at treating chronic disease or those with persistent, undiagnosed symptoms. By looking at the foundational systems of the body and bringing those into balance, people with chronic illnesses often have a dramatic turn around in how they feel. What we’ve learned about treating chronic disease applies perfectly to prevention, thus these same tools are also perfect for those wishing to prevent illness as well.
Pamela Miles, Integrative Medicine, answered
A truly integrative approach includes the patient as a whole person and as an equal -- a colleague as it were -- educating the patient in lifestyle choices and engaging him or her in creating wellness and well-being. As part of this relationship of mutual respect, integrative professionals are willing to learn from the patient -- what has helped, what hasn't, what does he/she see as important -- and support what the patient already has in place.
Rather than unrealistically expecting patients to change everything at once, especially when someone is ill and not functioning optimally, integrative practitioners reach out to patients where they are, offering bite-sized pieces that patients can digest and implement, rather than overwhelming them with data that seems irrelevant to the patient. Even when addressing chronic disease, when cure is not available, integrative practitioners offer doable steps to improve health and well-being, respecting the patient's values and preferences.